Published on : Friday, March 13, 2020
The spread of the COVID-19 virus is already taking its toll on Turkey’s tourism sector. Turkey’s hotels are witnessing a large number of cancelations for the coming season, said an advisory board organized by Turkey’s tourism business associations at a meeting with Culture and Tourism Minister Nuri Ersoy.
The Turkish Tourism Advisory Board urged the government to suspend social security and other payments till the end of the year, and said that banks should offer tourism companies credit at favorable rates and postpone interest payments on existing loans till the year’s end so that the sector stays buoyant.
Turkey recorded its first corona virus case on Tuesday.
However, the international panic over the outbreak, which the World Health Organization warns could become a pandemic, will hit the tourism industry quite harsh globally with people refraining from traveling.
The board told Ersoy that the UNWTO has predicted a drop in tourist numbers by as much as 4 percent. Turkey’s hotel operators, food sector and tour operators might need cash flow support this year as well as a suspension of social security and VAT payments till the year’s end.
The board said that the government should also take action to promote domestic tourism.